Saturday, February 27, 2010

Wednesday night Socceroos v Indonesia

This game started out as $50 for the good seats and $25 for fairly good seats.

Now Football Queensland is offering these same $50 seats for $25.

Pity the biggest supporters have already got tickets. Once again loyal fans are being punished and the FFA seems to lack understanding of the business it is in and the mood in the market place. It also seem to lack any medium term view on building a market for its product.

The A-League expansion into Queensland has not been a success.

Counting the total number of times the turn-styles have turned is the wrong measure with so many extra games. It will be interesting to see how well ticket sales go next season. Particularly in Brisbane where the signings have been disappointing - the club has gone from signing ex-SPL stars to returnees from the Scottish first division. Unfortunately, Brisbane Strikers have brought home bigger names to the state league. Sorry park football can be watched up the road for free.

The lack of success of expansion is threatening to bleed into the interest in the game at the national level. Maybe we will be surprised and the crowd will be 25,000 plus.

When is the the FFA going to get professional and buy some talent that understand the entertainment industry. It isn't going to achieve its goals if it is happy to let things happen around it. Artie Fraser's comments to Gold Coast that he had proven ways to get a big crowd to the Gold Coast proved to be wrong.

The nose dive in interest in Brisbane is a direct result of what the FFA has allowed to happen at the Roar. When is the FFA going to step into the Roar Board? Or is it unaware, or unable to do anything but watch the club flail around?

The lack of information on what is going to cause the club to be viable next year is adding to its problems. It is clear that under the current franchise arrangements it will be just making up the numbers next year. The minimum for the Roar is to sign a $1m plus marquee. And the longer the wait for this signing the bigger the name is going to have to be to attract interest.

Get weaving.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Matilda's v DPR Korea Ballymore 6 March 3pm

Adelaide 1 v Pohong 0

Gee not too happy about the way the Korean Steelers play. Some might call it cheating diving around all over the place. Our own diver Flores looked superb as did Van Dijk in a red shirt. With this team Adelaide would have given the A-League a shake.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A week break in the middle of finals series

The next game is 7 March.

I understand why, but the FFA risks the momentum going out of the finals series.

How many foreigners in the Wellington squad = 14


So if Wellington was an Australian club they would have to loose 9 players. 9 are Australians but 9 are born or naturalised New Zealanders. And one of those is heading to Brisbane next year. Should Wellington be treated as an Australian club or a New Zealand one? At the moment it is treated as both. Is that fair?

If Wellington beat Newcastle on 7 March then I assume Melbourne qualify for the 2nd Asian spot as FIFA/AFC treat Wellington as a New Zealand team and is not eligible. In any case they would have to reduce the squad to the foreign limit.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A question about the NFL model

Thanks Clayton
The reference is 'In a league of its own: America's National Football League offers a business lesson to other sports' The Economist 27 April 2006. Among other things the article compares the financial performance of gridiron clubs to EPL clubs.
It found that:
"The teams' owners share roughly 70% of their revenues with each other; and they stick to a strict salary cap that limits the amount each team can spend on players' salaries... ... all 32 owners a chance to field teams that are both financially viable and athletically competitive, even though some are in much richer local markets than others. The contrast with English football's Premier League—the richest soccer league in the world—is striking. The lack of a salary cap and the fact there is little revenue sharing means that the league is dominated by the same teams, year after year, while the poorer and less successful teams lose support and flirt with bankruptcy... ... its teams are far more evenly matched competitively than those in other leagues. Several teams rise and fall in the league tables from one year to the next, and every season provides many fresh examples of how any team can win on “any given Sunday”. That keeps supporters coming back, and ensures that the bulk of the games remain interesting, even in the final weeks of the season. ... one team's losing season and sagging revenues are offset by another team's banner year..."

And the punch line to get all teams working hard to fill stadiums: "... the league likes to leave one prominent city without a football franchise, “like an empty seat in musical chairs”, so that teams in other cities can threaten to move if they do not get their way. "

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Gold Coast 0 v Newcastle 0 - Newcastle on penalties

Gold Coast fluffed their lines. Dominated but couldn't win. Couldn't beat Kennedy.

Only 4,000 turned up for the game - lowest finals crowd by a mile. And low even for Gold Coast. Highlights that Brisbane people have lost interest in the game (at least for this year).

Only Ben Kennedy in goals for Newcastle and Charlie Miller for the team with no fans played with class. Smeltz was woeful. Cristian Rees missed the penalty in the penalty shoot out that would have won the game. And Zenon Carravella missed the one that lost the game. Song missed for Newcastle.

It wasn't a great game. I think a crowd is necessary to generate something special from the players. Smeltz hasn't scored for some time and he should have done tonight.

The FFA, as Miron has suggested, may be relieved. A win and it would have been another home game for GC and they could have led to less people watching a 6 team final series than a 4 team one. That still may happen as Melbourne's crowd was less than 20,000 as people struggled to get there for a mid week. There is a lot hanging on a turnout for Wellington - hmmm I assume the FFA owns the finals gate take in New Zealand? Won't be much to go round this year.

Another clear reason for the FFA to send their sheriff into Brisbane Roar. If there is a new owner to be had, they should be offered 100%.

That is it for Gold Coast for this year. I wonder if they will have such a good team next year? You would have to say they underachieved this year - doing no better than the Roar last year and with much, much lower crowds.

Brisbane should put in bids on GC's off contract players Zenon Carravella and Charlie Miller!

Ooops we can't, one is Farina's nephew and the other his buddie.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Brisbane is the missing link

I believe that the FFA is frustrated with Brisbane.

Sydney's ability to pull only 25,000 in its biggest game demonstrates just what the FFA have lost in Brisbane no longer being viable. Brisbane in the same position has pulled 30,000 plus even in wet weather.

Sadly, the signs for next year are not bright. The signings and rumours from other clubs demonstrates what an uphill battle the Roar now has.

The mileage that the AFL Brisbane Lions has made out of bad boys demonstrates the lost opportunity from the Roar. All players who left voluntarily during the season went onto better clubs and those who remained in Australia, made the finals.

The prognosis for next season is not good. And yet the growth market for the A-League is Brisbane.

There is now a case - as was made for Melbourne Victory (Thompson, Muscat, Hernandes) - to re-write the rules to allow Brisbane to have an additional salary cap and extra foreign players.

Roll on new ownership.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


You can now see the benefit of relegation. Not only did Brisbane come 9th out of 10, but the strategy and management decision making totally dis-enfranchised its fans along the way. Put that together with a binding contract to play at a stadium that breaks even at 15,000 fans per week, the reality is that the club will now struggle not only to get average new players but to keep its good current players.

Year out of the public eye would be a positive.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Perth 2 v Brisbane 0

At the time of writing the Fury are up 1-0 over Gold Coast which would mean Brisbane would come 9th.

The trouble for Ange is that a number of other players are also about to leave.

This is the environment in which middle eastern millionaires to the rescue stories flush.

The FFA probably have a few weeks to sought this out.

The FFA's first challenge is 3 March Socceroos v Indonesia which it is promoting with through images of?

Craig Moore!

Could it be true?

The Courier Mail is reporting that the Brisbane Roar is about to be sold. These type of stories surface from time to time, often with little substance.

There is also a reality to what new owners with big money bring. There are some close to home examples.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Here is what Wellington say about Costa Barbarouses

Whether he plays in the first team or not he’ll get regular football in the National Youth League, which is a very good competition. He’s a 20-year-old guy who wants to play, so the offer from the Roar was an attractive one for him. “Costa was a foundation member of the club and has won a lot of fans in New Zealand. We wish him all the best for the future and we’ll continue to watch his development closely.” Barbarouses played 21 matches for the Phoenix in three seasons and scored two goals'

Hmm so have Brisbane used a scarce foreign player spot for their youth team? He played 481 minutes for 1 goal this year.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

...the wine will be flat and the curry's gone cold...

Along with Brisbane's interest in the A-League. It will take someone really clever and a lot of money to resurrect interest next season. The chances of Brisbane putting together a competitive team seem to be slipping through their fingers.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Now for the Roar's biggest test

Brisbane is Australia's 3rd biggest sporting market. Now the harsh reality of the exodus of interest in the A-League from this market will come under the spotlight. The FFA will nervously await the crowd size for vital Socceroos v Indonesia game on March 3. The crowd size and local viewing audience is likely to have a long term impact on the FFA's strategic decision making.

For Brisbane Roar, many of the fans favourites have already left or been forced out. But there is also a chance that the heralded off season re-building is actually a period in which a whole set of other players are snapped by other A-League clubs as well as overseas interests. Likely to leave are Oar, van Dijk and McKay. It has already been indicated that McMaster and Ham may also leave. These changes may lead still more players to reconsider their future, most notably Zullo. Together the impact may be that there is little to attract new players other than those with few other options.

Miron was left pondering this problem after Queensland Roar decided to enter the A-League as probably the lowest spending club. Gold Coast United and the $1m Jason Culina was his response. The quality of players that came with Jason has been amazing.

Unless Brisbane Roar can find a way to make a similar commitment, find a way to tempt players like van Dijk, Oar and McKay to stay - and the snowball effect that would have on other's decisions - there is little point in their playing at Suncorp. And there would be little prospect of suddenly becoming a competitive team - at Suncorp, Ballymore or anywhere else. The A-League top performers have moved on from the position where there is a level playing field.

The fundamental for Brisbane is that they must, as soon as possible, commit $1m a year to a named and known marquee. Then get that information out there to attract a series of star recruits who will swim on the marquee's coattails.

My guess is that a new investor with $20 to $40 million to spend in 2010-11 is the first step.

The crowd sizes this year reflect the Brisbane market's reaction to the club's under performance, and to its reading based on the performances in the preseason and the first game against Gold Coast, that the club was no longer competitive. Unless this perception is reversed, interest in Brisbane will fall again next season. For instance there is strong evidence that many season ticket holders are considering their commitment for next year. This group paid the inflated ticket prices and watched as the club offered discounted and free tickets to all but them.

It will take a phenomenal effort for the club to turn their fortunes around from here.

Adelaide 2 v Brisbane 0: McKay may have played his last Roar game

Matt McKay was given a second yellow card late in the second half. He had given a soft foul against Floures - or Flower boy. Flower Boy begged for the 2nd card from the green ref. Flower Boy and McKay had been arguing through the second half and it is clear how the South American plays his game. Pity he won't come up against Pantelides or Muscat who would show him what a real yellow card looks like.

Brisbane were embarrassing. Right from the start they were unable to get their passing right. Many just didn't have enough power to reach their intended, others seemed to be to no one in particular.

So much for having a specialist striking coach. Brisbane had no shots in the box. And only one from Tommy Oar from way outside - looked like it could go in.

Twice the defending was shockingly bad. And that was enough.

While for Adelaide Lucas Pantelis had a great game, it would be very disappointing if he is the best Brisbane can do for new local players.

A great, great shame. I didn't think that Brisbane would make the finals. However, they needed to give their fans a clear reason to return next year. McKay did not deserve - in the tackle or his service to the A-League - to go out this way. And unfortunately as one of the few local boys, looks set to look like just another in the precession of fan favourites out of the club.


""The FFA are worried that we will win the major semi-final and then enjoy hosting rights for a match they don't want to see in Queensland," Palmer said.

"It's all about getting the game to Victoria and NSW, despite the fact we have the best team in the league.

"They are getting very nervous and this whole things smells of corruption and undue influence to me." from the Gold Coast Bulletin via Courier Mail.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Mrdja's going back to CCM next season - meanwhile Adelaide buy a dud

What a joke. Melbourne - from 1st place - gets to cherry pick the league. Who wouldn't do all they could to get a premiership medal and possible ACL shirt.

Meanwhile, bottom placed Adelaide have been told they can't play Adam Griffiths in this season's A-League nor in the ACL. Ooops - I wonder what they will get for their money since it was only a short term deal.

'Griffiths transferred from Gold Coast United to Al-Shabab earlier this season before he was released by the Saudi club at the end of last year. He played just one game for both clubs but it is enough to rule him out of action for the rest of the A-League season.

The FFA are still investigating if he will be eligible to play for the Reds in their Asian Champions League campaign, although that also looks unlikely under FIFA's strict rules.' Four Four two Australia.

Melbourne 2 v NQ Fury 0

Nik Mrdja's move to prop up a depleted Melbourne is not a good look. If you want to spit in fans eyes, this is the type of cynical move that will do it.

Meanwhile, CCM looks very depleted. How will convince their fans that next year will be better? The rich are starting to look richer and Melbourne and Gold Coast devour class players from other teams.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Roar brilliance

At last Brisbane have hit on a rich vain to build a positive and lasting relationship with loyal members. The exclusive Patrick Kluivert training sessions for youth members is a fantastic initiative and on the track to building life long members.

ABC1 covers the Brisbane story

The great coverage on the Roar and Ange from ABC1 stands in contrast to the anti-Brisbane performance of the Courier Mail this year - where any story - today Moore's pending retirement is turned into jaded coverage of the club.

Fixing the Courier Mail relationship needs to be a priority.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Amazingly, Muscat charge stands (2 weeks)

I must say I am surprised - given the leniency of the referees this season.

The impact on Melbourne's season will be played out Friday against the Fury and next week in the big one against Sydney.